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Body Confidence for Moms

It’s taken me about thirty years, but at last I think I’ve made peace with my body image. It’s been through diets, exercise regimes taken up and abandoned, my weight fluctuating between 100 and 160lbs, boyfriends, marriage, separation, a new relationship, and the most important factor: my son.

Gaining pregnancy weight – a lot of pregnancy weight – taking abuse from my ex-husband for being fat, and loosing a lot of breast volume from breastfeeding damaged my self-esteem.

Now I have more positive people in my life, most of all my son, who gives me an indescribable amount of joy every day. My body cradled him safely for 9 months, and fed him, and held him and nurtured him. The lines above my belly button that will never go away are a reminder of that, and instead of being revolted by them, as I once was, today I’m proud of them.

Today, I’ve made a commitment to eat right (or at least, not too badly) and I’m also trying to set an active example. I’m riding my bike, I’m doing yoga, and we are walking to the store. I want to set a good example to my son, so that I’ll be his mom in good health, and be there for him as long as possible.

Also, throwing him up in the air has given me great shoulders!

My weight has stabilized, I feel good that I’ve managed to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into our routine (as opposed to exercise being a chore to fit into the day somehow) I have more energy, and I’m even confident enough to go out wearing shorts.

Looking back, I didn’t appreciate that I probably looked great when I was 17, even though I felt awful about myself. But now, at last, I’m at peace with my body image, I have more self-esteem, and it’s due to respect for my body and what it can do, rather than trying to conform to an unrealistic image of society’s “ideal” woman.

How has having children affected your body image and self-esteem?

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